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eating in & eating out.

Byline: Margaret O'Reilly

Y Maenllwyd, Rudry THERE can't be many pubs that boast of their legless regulars but staff at the Maenllwyd in Rudry are rather proud of their resident ghost, the Legless Cavalier.

The 400-year-old former farmhouse is an attractive place and very popular, despite its out of the way location down miles of country lanes.

In summer you can sit outside and watch the valiant efforts of Rudry's village cricket team, on what must be one of the few pitches to have animals grazing on it.

The Maenllwyd is now part of the Chef and Brewer empire but still retains a lot of character with its thick stone walls and roaring fires.

The menu is vast. It ranges from sandwiches and ploughman's to elaborate sounding dishes influenced by cooking across the globe. There are around 40 main courses alone, chalked up on blackboards. There are so many wonderful sounding dishes that choosing is almost impossible.

The night we were there specials included a whole pheasant with chestnut and apple stuffing served with a blackbean sauce and salmon glazed with Highland liqueur and topped with crispy pancetta.

We shared deep fried brie to start, accompanied by a creamy coconut and pineapple sauce. It was an unusual pairing but the sauce was lovely.

We followed it with chicken fajitas served with a spicy and tasty dipping sauce, rice and salad. It was a generous plateful and disappeared without complaint.

I was rather disappointed with my seabass stuffed with fennel and glazed with Pernod. It was served whole, smelt very fishy and was stuffed with thick slices of tough fennel. Fennel is not the easiest vegetable to cook with and I felt it would have been better finely shredded.

The cooking at the Maenllwyd is rustic rather than refined, but I would have preferred to do without the head, tail and fins filling the plate.

I have eaten here several times in the past and have always enjoyed the food so maybe it was just a blip.

The seabass came with good red cabbage, potatoes and carrots, but rather undercooked broccoli.

Things improved with a deliciously rich creme brulee topped with forest fruits.

Overall, the Maenllwyd is a good place for an informal meal, offering options from around pounds 4 to pounds 17. It is good to see so many wines offered by the glass - and the young staff are friendly.

The food is definitely a cut above the average pub grub but perhaps a shorter menu would make it even better.

The bill came to pounds 39.13 which included two bottles of Kaliber, a large glass of Pinot Grigio, one starter, two main courses and one dessert.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 19, 2002
Words:448
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